Giancarlo Stanton was a one-man wrecking crew for the Yankees in Game 2 of the ALDS on Tuesday night.
Unfortunately for the Yankees, they needed someone else to join him on the crew.
Stanton hit two more home runs -- including a gargantuan three-run bomb that was estimated at 458 feet but seemed like it should have a "5" as the first digit – and drove in four runs to give him five home runs in four postseason games in 2020.
But the Rays outslugged Stanton’s teammates for a series-tying 7-5 victory at Petco Park in San Diego.
Stanton, who hit a grand slam in the ninth inning of the Yankees’ 9-3 Game 1 victory on Monday, went deep again in the second inning on Tuesday. Facing fireballer Tyler Glasnow, Stanton lined a solo home run to Petco’s short porch in right to tie the score at 1.
Manager Aaron Boone marveled at Stanton’s swing.
"I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a letter-high curveball hit out to not straightaway right, but to the right of straightaway right on a line like he did," Boone said. "It’s one of those swings that only Giancarlo can produce."
Stanton initially didn’t run, as if he thought he had hit a foul ball.
"I wasn’t sure what that was going to do," he said. "But I knew it was scooting with some backspin."
Stanton joined Lou Gehrig and Reggie Jackson as the only Yankees to homer in four straight postseason games. Gehrig did it from the 1928 World Series to the 1932 World Series. Jackson did it from the 1977 World Series to the 1978 ALCS.
The Yankees were trailing 5-1 when Stanton next came to bat against Glasnow with two on in the fourth. Stanton crushed a 97 mile per hour fastball completely over the stands in leftfield for a three-run homer to bring the Yankees to within a run.
That home run came off Stanton’s bat at 118 mph. According to ESPN.com, it was just the 16th home run since Statcast was introduced in 2015 of at least 118 mph. Stanton has eight of them.
"That was a good swing," Stanton said. "I swung through one earlier in that at-bat, so it was good to get to that one and put us in a decent spot."
Said Boone: "I thought it was going to hit the scoreboard."
Of the official distance of 458 feet, Stanton said: "I don’t think it was that. But that doesn’t matter, either. I was just glad to put the barrel on it. I didn’t really care how far it was going."
Stanton has six homers in his last six postseason games. Including the postseason, he has 11 home runs in 21 career games at Petco Park, which was also the site of his 2016 Home Run Derby victory.
Stanton and Juan Gonzalez of the 1996 Rangers are the only players with five home runs in the first four games of a postseason.
"That’s pretty cool," Stanton said. "But that’s stuff you look at after the year’s done."
Stanton’s power show wasn’t enough for the Yankees to take a commanding 2-0 lead in the best-of-five series.
Tampa Bay hit four home runs as Yankees manager Boone’s gambit to open with Deivi Garcia and then bring in J.A. Happ in the second inning was a bust.
Happ allowed a pair of two-run homers and exited after 2 2/3 innings with the Yankees trailing 5-1.
That’s when Stanton tried to bring the Yankees back. He got close with his three-run bomb. But he couldn’t do it himself.
The Yankees had scored 31 runs in their first three postseason games. But hitters not named Stanton went 3-for-28 with 17 strikeouts on Tuesday and were 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position -- the only run-scoring hit was DJ LeMahieu’s single with two outs in the ninth.
Aaron Judge, the next batter, grounded to third to end the game with two men on.
Stanton also struck out in the sixth and lined out to left in the eighth. The Yankees struck out an all-time postseason record 18 times.